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Tapping into consumer trends drives incremental revenue for publishers

A sure-fire way of building magazine sales is to use social media to spot emerging trends and to then quickly create and launch new titles into the nascent sector, says Marketforce’s Christina Sequeira.

By Christina Sequeira

Tapping into consumer trends drives incremental revenue for publishers
"The Global Wellness Summit puts the wellness industry at a staggering $4.2 trillion worldwide."

As they always have, magazines continue to reflect and enhance people’s lives. The difference today is that social media accelerates the spread of new trends and amplifies the niche ones. Many successful publishers are moving towards trend-led publishing, capturing these uptakes in lifestyle trends, attitudes or hobbies, and serving these highly targeted audiences with excellent magazines.

Capitalising on the wellness trend

For magazines, 2016 saw the incredible success of the colouring trend. At its height, the sector generated £5.4 million RSV annually with many publishers launching magazines. At that time, we identified the mindfulness trend as an extension to this. It had started to gain traction as part of the move to detoxing from tech, and focusing on wellbeing.

The Global Wellness Summit puts the wellness industry at a staggering $4.2 trillion worldwide. So, it’s clear there’s a large, and growing, opportunity out there. Some publishers are already capitalising on it: from mindfulness specific magazines, such as Planet Mindful and The Simple Things, to minimalistic living titles such as Enki, Scandi at Home and Declutter Your Life. Furthermore, refreshes to long-standing titles like WeightWatchers and Fit & Well, demonstrate how publishers can extend the lifecycle of their magazines.

With the continuing appeal of cleaning vloggers and Netflix stars such as Marie Kondo, we see this trend continuing for the medium term. It’s also important that the industry persists in impressing on retailers the importance of not cutting trends short by reducing listing, and therefore potential RSV.

Food trends bring continual opportunities

The constant evolution of eating habits in the UK and worldwide also offers great opportunities for innovative launches. Be that the caveman diet, Paleo, baking one-shots to tie in with popular TV, or the current trend, veganism. With grocery retailers expanding their vegan offering and supporting the Veganuary annual event, these titles are a fantastic revenue driver for publishers and retailers. And the wider free-from market is forecast to be worth nearly £700m by 2020; half a billion pounds growth in just ten years.

Many publishers have excelled in this arena, testing topics through umbrella brands and then launching well-researched, high quality titles. In the £12m food magazine sector, these more specialist magazines are driving growth. Mainstream food magazines sales are falling by 6% whilst vegan / vegetarian titles are growing by 12%. Food specialist magazines now account for 30% share of the food sector RSV.

The Element of Surprise

Driven by the latest TV programme, film release, YouTube video or toy, the children’s market is the most vibrant and constantly changing sector in the market. Some publishers have capitalised on the “element of surprise” trend. D J Murphy launched LOL Surprise magazine which is now yielding over £2.5m RSV annually.

Alongside this, you have the enduring appeal of collectables. Nationally, collectables (excluding the World Cup) generate nearly £50m in sales revenue annually. Whilst trading cards are still the largest type of product, figurines increased their share of the sector to 20% from 12%. This added surprise element to collecting is helping drive this segment of the sector.

It is crucial that retailers’ ranges are flexible enough to give speed to market for these titles and capitalise on the trend as it builds.

About Marketforce

Marketforce is a sales, marketing and distribution company, working with some of the world’s largest media organisations. Distribution is our core service, but our focus is on helping publishers build their businesses through adding value. We aid product development, determine optimal pricing and deliver customer marketing for brands that grows sales. If you’d like to know more about what publishing opportunities there may be out there for you, then do call us for a chat about new trends and getting the distribution you need.

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